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Old 06-18-2018, 02:34 PM
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Did anyone ride urban electric public transportation?

Since urban public electric transportation is scarce in some parts of the world, I ask you: did you ever ride with the:
1) Tram (streetcar) (trolley) (trolleycar);
2) Light rail;
3) Underground (subway);
4) Trolleybus (trolleycoach) (trackless trolley)
and if so, how was you experience with it?
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:56 PM
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Back when I was a kid in the Chicago suburbs I can remember taking the EL-line the final part of the way to a Cubs ballgame...The experience was comparable to the diesel Metra lines that dad commuted to work on (and once in a while took me with). I know I've been on the raised, aboveground and underground EL-lines in Chicago possibly more than once...IIRC there is some underground footpath between a couple of different stations on the EL-line (ISTR walking it and my folks telling me we were below the lake or river).

I've seen the overhead wires for trollies in Tampa Fl, and in The Wright Bro's hometown (can't remember the name).
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
Since urban public electric transportation is scarce in some parts of the world, I ask you: did you ever ride with the:
1) Tram (streetcar) (trolley) (trolleycar);
2) Light rail;
3) Underground (subway);
4) Trolleybus (trolleycoach) (trackless trolley)
and if so, how was you experience with it?
You're very prolific with the questions lately

Here in Edmonton Canada we have 2 and 3, both are much better than taking the bus, but I don't live near any stops presently, so I take the car. We used to have 4, and it was a mess of wires all over the streets.. it was decommissioned about ten years ago. It was more or less just like the regular diesel bus, except the routes were not flexible, the wires were messy and ugly, and from time to time, the boom would get disconnected, so the driver would have to get out, and move it back into place with a big stick. I don't think too many people were sad to see it go.

I'm too young for 1 here, but I took a tram in San Francisco not so long ago.. I think they keep it going purely for nostalgia. Kind of cool how it grunts into motion as the electric motor is turned on.

Efficient public transportation doesn't mesh too well with the low population density of post-war suburban planning... the cost of building a rail line is very high when you consider the low number of people per stop who can access it.

Last year when I was in New York, I took the subway and commuter trains almost everywhere I went.. I guess it's better than being stuck in traffic, but I can't say I was a big fan of being so close to strangers in such a small space
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:14 PM
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I do like the wires
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:16 PM
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Since urban public electric transportation is scarce in some parts of the world, I ask you: did you ever ride with the:
1) Tram (streetcar) (trolley) (trolleycar);
Yes, as a boy in Chicago. The Lake Street streetcar line actually ran underneath the "el" (elevated "subway") tracks.
2) Light rail;
I take this to be different from subway and el trains
We didn't have these in Chicago, but I rode them in other cities when I was an adult
3) Underground (subway);
Yes, New York, Chicago, and some other places
4) Trolleybus (trolleycoach) (trackless trolley)
Yes. took one as part of my daily commute to high school and later as part of my daily commute to college.

The Illinois Railway museum has a small working system to run antique trolley buses. They had good acceleration, drawing up to peak 400 amps (usually less) at 600 volts. I can recall the sound of the accelerator pedal hitting the floor, as the drivers would accelerate at maximum rate.

Bob Newhart, a comedian born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, had a routine about a new bus driver being trained to alternately accelerate and brake, to spin a passenger to the back of the bus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5TTA4f7Q3E


and if so, how was you experience with it?

I always use the subway when visiting New York and Washington DC. Driving there is crazy unless you are forced to go somewhere away from the lines. On the other hand, once I graduated and got a good job, I also got a car. In some points in my career, I carpooled or took public transport on one leg and then had someone pick me up at the station.

In the 50s and 60s public transportation was heated but not air conditioned, and riding the subway with the windows open was extremely noisy.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:20 PM
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Did you ride the trolleybuses in Chicago?
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
Did you ride the trolleybuses in Chicago?
Yes, in Chicago.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:01 PM
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4, many years ago in Dayton Ohio. Basically electric buses with overhead gantries for power. Zzzt. Quiet, no smelly diesel. (Buses around central Ohio mostly run on CNG now, so no stink at all.)
Light rail, but not in the US.
Subways, in various cities and countries. Pre-map-apps, so easy to ride to where you want as long as you know what it's next to...
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:13 PM
madlabs madlabs is offline
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Cable car, subway and electric bus in San Francisco. Underground in London and Toronto. Subway in New York and Chicago.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:37 PM
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I rode diesel-powered buses in Omaha. Too slow and didn't reach the destinations I needed. In most cases I needed to walk miles from the furthest point to my destination. In the summer red hot: in the winter the reciprocal.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:09 AM
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@ old_tv_nut : they got rid of them in 1972. A way to modernization. Just a year later they regreted it, because of oil crisis - oops, problems with the fuel.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
Since urban public electric transportation is scarce in some parts of the world, I ask you: did you ever ride with the:
1) Tram (streetcar) (trolley) (trolleycar);
2) Light rail;
3) Underground (subway);
4) Trolleybus (trolleycoach) (trackless trolley)
and if so, how was you experience with it?
Choices, 1,2&4. There wasn't a car in my family.
#1, till 1958, when they were discontinued.
#2, Interurban, sometime in the early 50's.
#4 Trackless Trolley, late 50's to mid 60's.
The population is too small to support other forms of mass transportation.
In Milwaukee, with a population of around 600K, there's no real demand for transportation on off-hours, except for special occasions.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecolor 3007 View Post
Since urban public electric transportation is scarce in some parts of the world, I ask you: did you ever ride with the:
1) Tram (streetcar) (trolley) (trolleycar);
2) Light rail;
3) Underground (subway);
4) Trolleybus (trolleycoach) (trackless trolley)
and if so, how was you experience with it?
1. Streetcars? Yes, we have a streetcar line down Woodward Avenue here in Detroit. It's relatively new having opened in May of 2017. Detroit used to have a massive streetcar network in the 40s, but GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Packard lobbied hard to have that killed; the last remaining line down Woodward ended streetcar service in 1956, and the cars were sent down to Mexico City where they were used until the 1980s. The overhead wires were kept into the 1960s and 1970s and used for trolleybuses that were universally loathed.

2. Light rail? Yes. I've ridden on the Metra lines in and out of Chicago. The Detroit area is supposed to get the MiTrain between Detroit and Ann Arbor starting in 2022, and the WALLY train between Howell and Ann Arbor sometime after that. These would be Metra style trains.

3. Subways? Yes, in Chicago, NYC, and Philadelphia. Detroit does not have a subway as such, but does have the Detroit people mover which is an elevated subway loop not unlike a smaller, useless version of the Chicago "L".

4, Trolleybuses? No. They had long been extinct in Detroit by the time I was born.

Detroit is kind of unusual for a city of its size (or rather former size) in that it has no real mass transit aside from the Woodward streetcar, which is of debatable use, the People Mover, which is entirely useless, and the bus system which is just as bad. Everybody drives in South-East Michigan, which is unsurprising given that at one point in time, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Packard had upwards of 80% to 95% of the GLOBAL market share in cars and trucks between them, and they actively colluded to keep mass transit out of Detroit, and to kill whatever already existed. The city has been, and likely always will be, primarily a car town. It's just too ingrained in our culture.

Incidentally, our traffic flows considerably better than most cities in the US. I've driven in bad traffic around the country, and for an area of its population, Detroit easily has the best roadways in terms of traffic control I've ever seen. Road surface quality is horrible, but that's another issue altogether.
Historically, we've consistently lead the way in traffic control innovations, and improvements to roadways in general.

William Potts built the first modern traffic light in 1920, and it was installed at the corner of Woodward and Michigan in October of 1920.
The Michigan Left was developed in the 1960s so as to reduce the traffic deaths along Telegraph Road. It's been a complete success, and EVERY state should adopt it IMHO.
The first urban freeway, the Davision, was built in 1941 and 1942.
The first complete mile of paved road in the world, Woodward between 6 mile and 7 mile.
Lines on the road marking individual lanes, developed by Edward Hines circa 1911 and first used in Trenton, Michigan.

We also consistently lead the way in automotive innovation. Henry and Edsel Ford, the Dodge Brothers, William Durant, Alfred Sloan, Charles Kettering, David Buick, Josiah Dort, Henry Leland, Walter Chrysler, Harry Bassett, and Ransom Olds, among others, all lived and/or worked in Michigan in the auto industry. Hell, prior to the popularization and refinement of the car, most of the country's horse drawn vehicles were built in Flint, eventual home of GM's Chevrolet and Buick divisions. Given that South-East Michigan was the home for the world's auto industry, it isn't surprising that mass transit never really took root here.
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:00 PM
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Philadelphia started shutting down the trolley system in the mid-80's in to the mid-90's. More than a few of the PCC cars went to San Francisco for their new Market St. line all refurbished and painted in the original city livery. Fun to ride.

And Philadelphia restored one line...#15 Girard...starting in early 2000 or so with 18 refurbished PCC cars. It finally opened in 2005. Nice article here;

http://www.phillytrolley.org/route15/girardavenue2.html
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
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Philadelphia started shutting down the trolley system in the mid-80's in to the mid-90's. More than a few of the PCC cars went to San Francisco for their new Market St. line all refurbished and painted in the original city livery. Fun to ride.

And Philadelphia restored one line...#15 Girard...starting in early 2000 or so with 18 refurbished PCC cars. It finally opened in 2005. Nice article here;

http://www.phillytrolley.org/route15/girardavenue2.html
I took the market street line last September, when I was in the area for work. I think it works well, it's real living history.
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